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phileo love: that tender type of love that enjoys, befriends, and appreciates

In the book of Titus, the Apostle Paul recommends that women teach each other how to phileo love their husbands and children.

WHAT?! (I can hear your exclaim through the Internet, ya know.) Women have to learn how to do something as simple as enjoy, befriend, and appreciate their husbands and kids?! That’s ridiculous. It’s soooo much more important to learn how to sacrifice everything for them, discipline them, and stick with them through thick and thin… isn’t it?

Well, it turns out that it’s easier for most of us women to love in the serious gut-wrenching way; you know, to feed, clothe, and serve a man and children even if they don’t like us and we don’t like them – even if we hate their guts. (But we call it love anyway.)

We’re just that sacrificial.

And we hold tightly to our role as the sacrificers. It’s all for love, ya know?

The only thing we hold to more tightly is that precious gift of us playing, joking, flirting, laughing, and enjoying our husbands and our children.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why it’s easier for me to wash, dry, and roll Ryan’s socks than for me to initiate a thrilling sock-war* against him. When’d I get so serious??

‘Turns out, though, I’m not alone. Paul says the gentle art of phileo is a discipline. And we women have to sit down and relax with the people who mean the most to us. Love is appreciating our people for who they are: appreciating them with our eyes, our hearts, our language.

I write this post today because I’ve been reading a fantastic book called Feminine Appeal by Caroline Mahaney.

It compells me to enjoy my husband and my daughters.

Moreover, it compells me to teach my daughters how to indulge in a picnic now and then, how to tell a good joke, how to greet Daddy when he returns from work, how to work alongside each other with a song; or lay in bed for a few extra minutes, watch a good movie on *almost* every rainy day that comes our way, or do our reading lesson under the kitchen table.

‘The way I figure it, if Vivienne and Lia can learn the art of enjoying and appreciating their family now, they’ll thrive while loving their husbands and children some day.

They’ll sparkle, and joke, and dream, and play.

And, as upside-down as it seems, their hearts will phileo phileo phileo and their husbands and children will fall asleep, contentedly loved.

*Endnote: Okay, so the sock-war might be a little far-fetched and not *as fun* as other things, but I wanted to keep this G-rated and about socks.

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